Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Hometown Tourist Part 2
As mentioned in the previous post, I like to treat everyday things in my hometown as an attraction. I get nostalgic for some things from my former midwestern life. Grocery shopping is a big one. The experience is so incredibly different in the city than it is back home. Maybe because while there are several large grocery stores, there really isn't a supermarket on par with those I grew up with anywhere accessible to me. There is one on Broadway near the Lorimer stop that comes close, but with it's open air fish section and gigantic selection of South American and Caribbean produce, it definitely smacks of Brooklyn.
I was lucky enough to visit my favorite mega supermarket grocery store, Super Saver twice on my trip home. The first was right after I got into town to pick up provisions for breakfast the next day and vegetables to go with the duck my dad and I were to roast. As I walked past the giant smoked meats display adorned with placards one in various categories of competition at the State Fair, I lamented that I had neglected to bring my camera inside. In the bakery I frantically searched for my favorite midwest supermarket staple, the maple frosted donut topped with chopped peanuts or at least filled with cream (and not of the bavarian variety, of the grainy white fluffy kind, so sweet it kind of burns your tongue.) Alas! The holidays had temporarily interfered with is space in the gleaming donut case in favor of vanilla iced donuts transformed with seasonal food coloring. Cameraless I still browsed as though at a museum, pointing and marvelling at the size and scope of the meat department, the warehouse-esque produce section, nearly as big as the Associated on Grand Street back in Brooklyn. I gawked and gasped and giggled at memories of foods not commonly found in New York. Sure, things like tahini and plantains are staples at any neighborhood bodega here, but do they have a deli case filled with Ambrosia and Strawberry Fluff salads? Does Key Food have a sample lady for chipped dried beef dip (dried beef in cream cheese) or house cured meat sticks, beer salami and pretzels with yellow cheddar cheese cubs next to the "exotic" flecked white cubes of pepper jack on display for you to sample? All staples of middle American picnic cuisine.
Thankfully we went back to pick up some last minute items and this time I was wise enough to bring my camera. As I walked around taking pictures I noticed all the employees noticing me. Unlike the mall where my picture taking was completely ignored in every store we went in, my snapping was causing somewhat of a frenzy of speculation from the staff. As seemingly no one normal would be taking pictures of their store, I saw a woman from the bakery staff point me out to her manager in wonderment. I guess "blogger" isn't a recognized past time to everyone yet and I sincerely hope they think I was a journalist not a terrorist. Regardless, I shied away from some amazing things because I was getting so stared at (I know, I'm a pussy.) I still regret missing the giant turkey made out of cupcakes, but I think I got a pretty good representation of how amazing Super Saver (motto, "We sell for less") really is.
Bulk candy and pinata display, perfection in merchandising
The biggest hot dog case I've ever seen
Patriotic beef jerky
Field of sausage
Cookies and cream = childhood dream